<![CDATA[Azarius News]]> http://azarius.es/news/ The Very Advanced, Utterly Cool, Super Duper Azarius RSS Generator v2.34.445 info@azarius.net (azarius.net) <![CDATA[Quiz time: test your cannabis knowledge]]> http://azarius.es/news/613/Quiz_time__test_your_cannabis_knowledge/
We've come up with a quick quiz; a fun way of testing your knowledge and maybe learning a thing or two. The very first in a series of quizzes focuses on cannabis seeds and vaporizers.

Do you know all there is to know to become professor Cannabis? Well, you can find out by taking the Azarius cannabis quiz. If you make it past all six multiple choice questions, there may just be a little reward waiting for you...

And please, no spoilers in the comments.]]>
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/613/Quiz_time__test_your_cannabis_knowledge/
<![CDATA[Psychologists advocate for ending the ban on psychedelics]]> http://azarius.es/news/616/Psychologists_advocate_for_ending_the_ban_on_psychedelics/ The British Psychological Society, is raving about tripping.

A brave new world for psychology?
That is the title of this special edition. A little cautious perhaps, with the addition of that question mark at the end. Because if it's up to the British psychologists, this new world will surely come about. The following quote is from the article 'How do hallucinogens work in the brain?'

"There is a real sense that we are exploring something destined to become the ‘next big thing’ in psychopharmacology."

What is awareness anyway?
In the opening article professor David Nutt does not try to hide his enthusiasm. According to him a psychedelic trip is one of the most interesting experiences a person can have. An experience that provides us with the opportunity to learn about our awareness. He cites consciousness researcher, psychotherapist and psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.

"Psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology or the telescope is for astronomy. These tools make it possible to study important processes that under normal circumstances are not available for direct observation."

This quote dates back to 1975. It's now 2014, almost 40 years have gone by. The Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider – we know so much more about stars and molecules. But our understanding of our awareness hasn't gotten much further.

End of scientific censorship
Due to the repression of psychedelic substances, research into them has practically halted. David Nutt on this:

"To me – and I speak here as a former Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – the justification for the banning was a concoction of lies about their health
impacts coupled with a denial of their potential as research tools and treatments."

"The failure of the scientific community, particularly neuroscientists, to protest the denial of research on hallucinogens is one of the most disturbing failures of science leadership in the past century, and it must be rectified."

Statements that we can only endorse.

This edition is available online
This September edition of The Psychologist came out just recently. In total the journal contains six articles, covering subjects like the use in archaic cultures, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), the psychedelic experience as described in literature and therapeutic possibilities. We're going to sit down and take some time for this publication and we'll undoubtedly report back to you. For the curious: all articles are available to read and download (pdf). ]]>
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/616/Psychologists_advocate_for_ending_the_ban_on_psychedelics/
<![CDATA[Gathering of the psychedelic tribe: party for a better world]]> http://azarius.es/news/615/Gathering_of_the_psychedelic_tribe__party_for_a_better_world/
This summer Azarius strolled around at Boom in Portugal and at Psy-Fi "inside the Vortex" in the Netherlands. It’s not just the omnipresent artworks and decoration of these festivals that are inspired by the psychedelic experience; or the music that tries to grasp and induce altered states of consciousness; the whole festival is actually designed to experiment with and apply the insights that such an experience provokes.

The festival is a large playground where participants can play with their identity: dressing up in the most remarkable outfits or get loose with face and body painting. Besides music stages Boom and Psy-Fi featured areas dedicated to spirituality and healing where one could go for massages, tantra workshops, meditation, yoga, diverse ceremonies and therapies. As truffles are legal in the Netherlands, it was even possible to hold truffle ceremonies at Psy-Fi, which took place in the most far-away tipi during the night.

Boom, a bi-annual gathering around the full moon of August, was celebrating its 10th edition this year. The life-rhythm of this one-week psychedelic society on the dusty hills of a large lake alternates between swimming, partying and meeting up with people from all over the world - visitors from 152 countries were present!

There were lectures and group discussions on a broad range of topics, drug-testing points and the ‘Kosmicare’: a first-aid post for people having difficult (trip) experiences. Large gardens with flowers, veggies and herbs–for picking - were constructed using the compost from the toilets of the previous edition. Aiming to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint people coming by bike could get in for free.

Psy-fi featured its second edition, but this one was much larger than the first. In the watery Dutch landscape multiple music stages, a sacred island and a magical forest arose.

What are these festivals all about? Is it just one week of partying and getting out of our daily routines? Or is it also about taking back home truckloads of inspiration and ideas to integrate in the ‘real world’ afterwards? - Often these festivals are called a transformative experience. - Is this an upsurge of hippie-ism, merged with ‘new’ techniques like electronic music, installations, projections and light-effects? Is it about creating the perfect trip environment? Maybe it’s about all of this. And about dancing, dancing and dancing of course.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/615/Gathering_of_the_psychedelic_tribe__party_for_a_better_world/
<![CDATA[Meatballs! Azarius site now in Swedish]]> http://azarius.es/news/614/Meatballs_Azarius_site_now_in_Swedish/
Our northern friends can navigate the Azarius website in their own rather odd looking language. Everything from category descriptions to the checkout process and customer service information has been translated for your shopping convenience.

It's the least we could do for you guys, seeing as how we're such big fans of IKEA and meatballs.

Check out the Swedish version of our website here: Azarius.se, or simply choose the Swedish flag from the language selection menu near the top of the page.

- Team Azarius]]>
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/614/Meatballs_Azarius_site_now_in_Swedish/
<![CDATA[Coffee at Azarius: be a conscious user!]]> http://azarius.es/news/611/Coffee_at_Azarius__be_a_conscious_user/
Interestingly, the debate around the drug caffeine seems to revolve solely around the preparation. Where one person is perfectly happy with a cup of joe prepared in the famous Senseo machine, the other only drinks coffee that was prepared in an espresso machine that can produce a pressure of at least 15 bar. No one talks about the effects on body and mind. And that’s a shame, as it is potent stuff, that you can greatly benefit from. Although it can just as easily ruin your day.

Recently published research showed that caffeine has a positive effect on the memory. A group of 160 subjects looked at a series of pictures. They then either got a placebo or a caffeine pill that equals a regular cup of coffee. One day later, the subjects were tested for recognition of the images.

Those who received a shot of caffeine turned out to be better at that. The difference was in the details, they mainly did better when discerning images with small differences. Source: nature neuroscience.

Athletes also benefit from caffeine. A good cup of coffee makes you both more alert and more energetic. Your reaction speed increases and you get the feeling that things just go a bit easier. Caffeine is certainly a performance enhancing drug, suitable for both endurance sports and interval sports (football, hockey, tennis….). The best moment to grab a dose is an hour before the match.

Don’t overdo it. You won’t be riding up a hill like Lance Armstrong just by drinking latte machiato’s. The sweet spot lies between 3-6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram body weight. If you go over that, you will get the reverse effect of what you are aiming for.

Too much is never good. An overdose of caffeine – why wouldn’t we call it by its name – creates both physical and mental problems. An increased heart rate and overstimulated bowels. A rushed feeling, irritability, nervousness, sleeplessness. You will no doubt recognize it, we’ve all had a doppio too many in our day.

Like most other stimulants, the effects of caffeine differ with every person. But how much of it do you use? You never really know. On average, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee lies between 90 and 225 milligrams. It's a very rough average, as the same serving of coffee can vary as much as 300 milligrams between this day and the next.

If you really want to get the most out of caffeine, you cannot leave the dose to chance. You need to know exactly how much you are getting, so you can take the dose that works best for you. And that’s where BLAST caffeine capsules come in. By taking caffeine in capsule form, you know exactly what you get.

Maybe your mom wants a jar of her own?]]>
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/611/Coffee_at_Azarius__be_a_conscious_user/
<![CDATA[Azarius experiences: GHB]]> http://azarius.es/news/609/Azarius_experiences__GHB/
It's often said that it’s very important to research a substance that influences your consciousness, before you use it. This makes perfect sense of course, but what if the substance in question is new? What if the long-term effects are unknown? It's impossible to really know everything about a given substance if research is lacking. A sad example of this is my experience with GHB. This is the tale of a substance that was once thought to be harmless.

'Mostly harmless'
When I was sixteen years old, my brother gave me the Dutch drugs bible 'Uit je bol' written by Gerben Hellinga and Hans Plomp. Although I had only smoked a few joints in my young life, I tore through this book in one go. It fascinated me immensely that one’s consciousness could be so easily and deliberately manipulated. Hans and Gerben described the pros and cons of all kinds of substances with a light-hearted tone. Armed with all this information, I started experimenting with mushrooms, salvia, ecstasy and DMT. I especially enjoyed psychedelics.

When I was twenty, back in 2002, my group of friends and I came into contact with GHB. We opened our 'Uit je bol' guide and quickly looked up what our gurus said about this stuff. We read: "GHB gives a relaxed yet energized feeling, removes sexual inhibitions, is not addictive, is not bad for the body, has little side effects and is harmless by itself. But do not mix it with alcohol, this leads to acute lose of consciousness."

Reassured by these words of wisdom, we took this drug, which at the time was relatively new. It seemed Hans and Gerben were spot on with their description, because GHB actually let us party like a maniac while allowing us to appear at work the next day without any hangover. Not surprisingly, we quickly fell in love with it. We threw our alcohol supply out the door and from that moment on we took a ‘gappie’ each weekend; that’s what a dose of GHB was called in Dutch at the time. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that it wasn't such a magical party drug after all. GHB is in fact very difficult to dose. Whenever you take too much, you lose consciousness.

Not all that glitters is gold
Some of my friends had total blackouts or worse, they slipped into a state of delirium. I also experienced some of the severe side effects. Sometimes I’d lie on the floor and there was just nothing expect a black hole in my mind. I would wake up somewhere, not knowing how I’d gotten there. I'd done things that I could not remember, but because the effects when dosed properly where so great, many took these side effects for granted.

My aversion to GHB was growing more each day. In my humble opinion it’s not normal when people at parties are lying unconscious on the ground for three hours. After each incident with me, my friends or the people around me, my doubts about this supposedly safe drug intensified. One day I awoke up from GHB coma and my friends told a horrible story, about me and what I had done that night, but I couldn't remember anything. From that moment I decided that enough was enough. I was forever done with GHB.

GHB addiction
This turned out to be easier said than done, because I still felt GHB calling me. Each weekend without, I felt incomplete. It’s like it was begging me to use it, if only a little. At the same time, a voice inside me said I should persevere and quit. It wasn’t easy, as I was the only one in my group of friends to stop using GHB, but it was a decision I was more than happy with. And still am. You see, GHB isn’t just hard to dose, it’s also very addictive. In my close circle of friends, five people became heavily addicted to it.

I still talk to them now and again. Every three hours they take a dose of GHB. Heavy GHB addicts only 'sleep' in cycles of three hours, because that’s how long the effects of GHB last. Then they wake up and redose. If they fail to do so, they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms like sudden anxiety, depression, learning and concentration problems, stress, insomnia, profuse sweating, trembling, cramps, muscle pain, cardiac arrhythmias, delirium, hallucinations, psychosis or an epileptic seizure. So heavy GHB addicts drink themselves in a light coma every night. This regular 'light's out' leads to brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

A GHB addiction is one of the hardest addictions to get rid of. The withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction can be countered with methadone, but no such thing exists to help you in the case of GHB. The only effective way is slowly reducing the dose. This is obviously not easy. What once seemed like a fairytale drug for us has changed into a nightmare for many. The new edition of the 'Uit je Bol' guide tells a completely different story of GHB. It’s definitely not mostly harmless any more.

A cautionary tale
I want to clarify that I don’t hold a grudge against writers Hans and Gerben. Twelve years ago nobody knew the dangers of GHB. And they didn’t force me to take it, it was my decision. I’m just sharing my story with you as a cautionary tale. When a substance is new and thought to be safe, be aware that research might be lacking. Not everything that glitters is gold.

Be smart and take good care of yourself and your friends. Take it from me; there are many wondrous things to experience out there, but tread lightly and thoroughly research what you take. Or simply don’t give in to the unknowns!

Read the Azarius encyclopaedia page for more information on safely taking psychedelics.]]>
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/609/Azarius_experiences__GHB/
<![CDATA[And now Dennis McKenna speaks up]]> http://azarius.es/news/608/And_now_Dennis_McKenna_speaks_up/
All in the family
Like his older brother Terence McKenna, Dennis elects to study botany. Together they trek around the globe to research medicinal plants. The brothers publish several books on the subject of psychoactive plant life. But Dennis focusses on more than just hallucinogenic substances. Together with two fellow botanists he writes Botanical Medicines: the Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements.

In the background
Unlike Terence, Dennis McKenna does not seem to feel the need to broadcast his message to a big audience and have them clapping and cheering. He chooses a mainstream scientific career. For a while he makes a living developing cosmetics, albeit of the organic variety. And he’s a lecturer at a few universities.

The spotlight
Today, the interest in psychotropic plants and their medicinal applications is on the rise again. Thus generating the need for people who function as voice of the movement. That's where Dennis comes in. Now he steps into the spotlight, maybe because his brother can no longer do so. Several documentarie directors asked him for help, among those Neurons to Nirvana and DMT: The Spirit Molecule. He speaks at gatherings and is a guest in radio shows and podcasts. Recently, he published a book about his adventures with Terence.

Respectable psychonaut
He may not have Timothy Leary’s charisma – but Timothy eventually shot way past his target. He might not speak as eloquently as Terence McKenna – but Terence sometimes lost himself in speculation. What Dennis McKenna brings to the table? Scientific recognition, a broader view on life and a respectable background. And that might just be the characteristics that makes him an effective spokesman for this day and age.

Image taken from: www.psychointegrator.com]]>
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/608/And_now_Dennis_McKenna_speaks_up/
<![CDATA[Documentaries and movies for psychonauts]]> http://azarius.es/news/606/Documentaries_and_movies_for_psychonauts/
Watch a documentary
The public at large is slowly becoming more familiar with the medicinal use of cannabis. The rather thick layer of prejudice and ignorance is slowly being chipped away. This results in other 'drugs' being pushed into a different light. And documentary filmmakers actively pursuing the topic.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule (2010) is a remarkable documentary. This is a reconstruction of the scientific research regarding DMT by Rick Strassman. Interviews with some of the 60 participants in the experiment result in trip reports nobody will forget any time soon, and these reports are supported by great visuals. Small note, for someone who has never tripped, this doesn’t make it any clearer.

That’s why we believe Neurons to Nirvana (2013) to be a more interesting choice. This documentary shows a broader topic. Not only traditional substances (ayahuasca, mescaline), but also those created in a lab (LSD, MDMA) are shown, without forgetting political backgrounds and sociological aspects.

Watch a movie
Do you want to relax while watching a good movie? There is no shortage in movies that revolve around the use of drugs. It’s a shame these often only further cement prejudices. Users go down, without exceptions. Hollywood does not believe in the smart and responsible user.

A rare and excellent exception to that rule is Taking Woodstock (2009). The trailer is filled to the brim with spoilers, so we won't link to it. This very relaxed movie takes place in the seventies. The main character is the charming boy next-door, Elliot. He has a license to organise an annual poetry and music festival. Every year, a handful of villagers flocks to that festival. This year, many more will come..

A bit rougher is Blueberry (2004). This italo-western is based on the graphic novels about Blueberry, a cowboy. Fans of these comics aren’t exactly thrilled. The hero of the comic regularly uses mescaline, something he never does in the graphic novels.

However, in the movie he does, and that’s why it is of interest to us psychonauts. The director chose this direction because the artist who drew Blueberry, Jean Giraud, regularly went looking for psychedelic experiences. Besides that, director Jan Kounen is no stranger to psychotrophic plants. The scenes where Blueberry is tripping are - we can’t say it any other way - very realistic.

Recommendations please
We sometimes find ourselves on the couch as well. If you have any recommendations for Azarius, please share in the comments!
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/606/Documentaries_and_movies_for_psychonauts/
<![CDATA[New & available exclusively at Azarius: Utopia]]> http://azarius.es/news/610/New__available_exclusively_at_Azarius__Utopia/
Utopia is intended for the veteran psychonaut, as the capsules contain a potent combination of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) extract and Hawaiian baby woodrose.

This whombo combo has two effects. First, you'll feel a mellow kind of relaxation. Then the psychedelic side kicks in and it's the synergy between the two that makes it such a pleasant trip.

Utopia opens you up to a different way of thinking, colours will be more intense and you'll experience closed-eye visuals. Kratom relaxes you and provides a smooth body high effect, eventually leading to a utopian feeling. It's recommended for a walk in the park or making deeper connections with your friends.

Utopia is a strong psychedelic with clearly noticeable effects and that's why it's recommend for the more experienced mind-travellers. Utopia is definitely not a party formula and we advise you to take the same precautionary measures as you would when taking sclerotia or mushrooms.

The ideal setting is at home or surrounded by nature; hanging on the couch with some good music on or in the forest with close friends. In short; a nice and not too busy setting. The trip will last between 5 and 6 hours.

Check out the Utopia product page to order this awesome new formula.]]>
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/610/New__available_exclusively_at_Azarius__Utopia/
<![CDATA[Ain't no party like a Holi party]]> http://azarius.es/news/605/Aint_no_party_like_a_Holi_party/
We were not tripping but throwing and blowing coloured Holi powder in each other’s faces!

Not a single orifice was spared.

Little known fact: Payback is a dish best served with pink and purple powder.

Holi Gulal powder was traditionally used to celebrate the Hindu Holi Festival, but our rigorous and highly scientific testing has confirmed that throwing colour at other people is never not fun, no matter the occasion!

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/605/Aint_no_party_like_a_Holi_party/